Monday, December 24, 2007

Merry Christmas Eve

We got word back that Matt did not make the Firefighter 1 Academy, but all is well. It is only a class, good for the resume but guarantees nothing. And while we know the Lord would've gotten us through it, it really would have meant an extremely stressful 4 months in our future. So for that avoidance I am thankful. We know God is in control, so Matt's going to keep it up and we'll see where He takes us. He has one more class starting in January and Kern County Fire is taking applications next month as well.

Joshua has been silly as usual. He's getting better at running, though not avoiding hitting his head often (he's so accident prone!). His vocab now includes 'cheese', 'pa-pa' (his pacifier), duck sounds - I'm sure there are more that I can't think of at the moment. He nods his head 'yes' and surprisingly 'no' has not entered the vocab yet, just shaking his head no, mostly when he doesn't want to eat anything. Later this week he'll be 17 months. It seems like he was just that little thing who's favorite thing about last Christmas was chewing the tags. We didn't get a tree this year, sort of b/c of my sensitivity to smells, sort of b/c of money, and when it comes down to it, a tree is not at all what Christmas is about. But Joshua sure has enjoyed looking at others' trees. He loves the lights and especially the little 'kid' tree that Nana (Sharon) puts up; he's allowed to touch the ornaments and he enjoys taking them off and setting them inside the branches. I PROMISE that by the end of the week I'll have some photos up of him from tomorrow, from Disneyland earlier this month, and maybe another stray.

My pregnancy is going well and I am 12 weeks (13 on Wednesday). The weeks seem to be going rather quickly, though I still wish I was much further along. The nausea isn't letting up, no surprise, and daily my meals are a struggle. My next appointment is on Thursday when we will get to hear Baby's heartbeat. At the end of February is when we expect to find out the gender, though Matt's Gram loves to tell people, "We don't know what SHE is yet."

I hope all of you are having a wonderful Christmas season, focusing your hearts and minds not on the shopping and gifts, nor tasks of cleaning and cooking, nor anything else but on our Savior. That sweet and precious baby Jesus is the only reason for celebration. The One who was born among sheep and cattle to be the pure and spotless Lamb who bore our sins. I pray that He is the One you celebrate, the One you give to, the One you praise and give thanks to for all of the blessings in this world (and not merely the material ones) not just tomorrow but each and every day of the year. Praise be to the Prince of Peace!

Lots of love,
The Sterk Family

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Long Overdue!

I'm sorry it's been so long since I've written. Things around here are busy as usual. Let's backtrack a bit: Joshua is 15 months and started walking at 13 1/2 months. He's quite good at it now, though still has his falls and gets beautiful bruises on his noggin. He's saying...well, mimicking...lots of words like shoes, hi, mama, dada, socks, five (very random). He knows the meanings of so many things, it seems like we discover something new each day. He also likes to mimick sounds that the dog and cat make. He's a pretty good boy, though he's getting quite a bit into the defiance, not obeying Daddy and Mommy though he knows exactly what we're saying, and now hitting. He even hit other kids at church on Sunday- what a bully! If you know of any good Christian parenting books, please let me know!

Also, last week we found out that Joshua is going to be a big brother. Did you have to read that twice? That's right, your eyes did not deceive you. We're going to have another baby! BIG surprise to us, because we were going to wait another 6 months to try! God is so good. About a month ago now I was having a few stressful days, totally overwhelmed with all of my responsibilities, stressed that the shop had been very slow for sales. The Lord really laid it on my heart that I should discontinue my Etsy shop, in fact my business altogether. My priorities have been out of whack for months and everything seems to be suffering. So I prayed about it and committed to quitting the shop for now. I really need to sell as much as possible first, but hopefully most of that will be done by the end of next month. Anyway, I got such a peace when praying about this and even started to look forward to another baby (I haven't felt this way since Joshua was born because I haven't wanted him to grow up). Well, it was pretty much exactly when the Lord changed my heart that I conceived- completely unknowingly. If that isn't confirmation, I don't know what is!

Matt has been busy with his classes and work and getting in shape. He applied for the firefighter 1 academy which is mostly good experience and good for your resume. They only allow a limited number of applicants to take the physical abilities test, and then there is an interview. This physical is extremely difficult and Matt took it Saturday and passed! Thank you, Lord! Interviews are in December and if he gets this we're in for a long 4 or 5 months. He'll be working, driving to Bakersfield for the academy two weeknights from 6-10 pm and all weekend 8-5. Plus, he'll possibly take his very last class online as well as do his best to be there for Joshua and I. But we trust God to get us through if given the opportunity!

I will try to get some new pics up of Joshua soon, but I just wanted to finally write, especially since my yahoo email is being lame and hasn't been working the past few days. I hope all is well and you're experiencing the Lord's blessings to the fullest as we approach a day of Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

After Labor Day

We got to spend a nice Labor Day weekend at my dad's in Huntington Beach. First on the agenda was a few hours at Disneyland. Joshua loved it this time, especially enjoying Dumbo (which he flapped his arms like a bird for while squealing with delight), and we also had time for the merry-go-round, the tea cups, and small world. It was great getting to see so much of Hudson. Joshua had fun trying to play with Hudson, though Hudson was less than thrilled at the thought of having to share his toys. He has said 'Joshua' a few times, but he likes to call him 'Baby.' I can't count how many times we heard, 'No, Baby!' Heehee!

A busy fall has officially begun for us. Matt and I both started our classes last week. Matt drives to Bakersfield each Tuesday and Thursday night plus has one online class. I'm taking one class online with Moody Bible Institute; hey, I have my hands full too b/c I go to school and work at home while simultaneously taking care of Joshua- give a mom some credit! ;D

I realized I was supposed to show you some cool photos since the last post. I honestly forgot for a couple of weeks what I'd been referring to. No pics, but I'd meant to tell you God blessed me with a brand new sewing machine! My first machine is a Brother that Matt got me a few years ago for Christmas. It's worked well, but is a starter and several months ago I'd taken it to get fixed and, well, I paid for nothing. My mother-in-law was kind enough to loan me her Kenmore machine for longer than I'd intended. So, when she returned from a long summer vacation eager to do some sewing, I didn't know what I'd do. But, God provided the means and I got a Bernina 220, which I love! It has some amazing decorative stitches and is just a great machine to use for my business. I know it's going to last me a very long time!

Well, as long as this is I'm short on words tonight, so until next time.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

I warned you!

Okay, months later, here goes.

Happy 1st Birthday, Joshua! Funny, once this day came and went I stopped crying dreading its arrival. On the day itself we had a nice time doing the normal and also made a trip to the park to play. Unfortunately, I accidentally formatted my camera (wasn't thinking!) and every photo from his big day is gone. This mom's heart is broken, but at least there are some others from the party. He was so good for the party! He even sat nicely with both Matt and I to open ALL his gifts. Notice how happy he was that Mom forgot to have him wear his crown for cake. Haha ;)

By the way, the adorable shirt Joshua's wearing... I made it! My first attempt at clothing. Matt's Gram is the most amazing seamstress, and she guided me through it. She even folded down the pattern b/c I bought the wrong size. I can't wait to make another!

My one sale has turned into 28, plus a few custom orders on the side. I am so incredibly blessed! Let me tell you, though, it's quite overwhelming to start a new business with a baby and husband and home, trying to complete tons of projects so you can get your name out there and sell your stuff. This past year has been a big blur of very little sleep, and the past few months it really has had nothing to do with Joshua. I'm up until *gasp* 2 am and later most nights, and I feel like I still haven't quite gotten the hang of the balancing act this all is. By God's grace I have made sales, though, and I know He keeps me each day though I fail time and time again to get my priorities and life organized.

The past couple of days have been nice, though. I haven't had a sale for a week, which means a little less running around. And the Lord has helped me resist the urge to check my shop every 10 minutes so I can really enjoy time with Joshua. Biased or not, our baby boy is just the most handsome thing we've ever laid eyes on. He's such a riot, his little personality blooming as it is. Lately he loves to take things apart, be it all of the toys out of their basket, all the books off the shelf, all of the lego blocks Daddy's made into a "J", everything out of Mommy's purse (including every credit card, paper, etc. out of my wallet!). He is a giggle box, especially when Daddy or Mommy laugh and he just has to join in the fun. He's crawling like a pro, zooming all over the house, loves to hold fingers and walk around, and he's starting to get brave enough to try standing on his own. He stood a full 30 seconds today, quite a feat ;). Perhaps the silliest thing he's doing lately is what Daddy appropriately named 'bulldozer.' He crawls with the top of his head on the floor sometimes, and it just makes us burst into laughter.

My friend Theresa tagged me for something, so I'll try to post that tomorrow along with some fun photos- something I'm just dying to share!

Thursday, June 21, 2007

My first sale!

Yipee! I'm walking on air! I've been a little discouraged these past few days, wondering if I got myself into something ridiculous and somehow misinterpreted the opportunities God has created. Wednesday afternoon I checked on my etsy shop (which I admitedly do many many times per day!) and saw that an item was missing. I figured I must've left it in edit, somehow, though I didn't think so because I'd just listed it a few hours before. It took a minute before I saw on my front page: 1 item sold. Disbelief and excitement swept over me!

My very first buyer is a fellow etsian seller (and excellent scrapper) who I have been chatting with for the past month. How wonderful that my new friend is my first customer- yeah Gina! I'll add her shop link as soon as I figure out why my silly blog isn't allowing me to edit my linke :).

Just wanted to share my wonderful news with you and here's hope and a prayer that I have many many more sales to come!

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Busy Busy Busy

Well, so far I haven't had any success on etsy, but I'm hoping that changes soon. My items seem to be viewed a lot and I've had lots of "hearts" (marked as a favorite) and compliments.

My wonderful sister-in-law, Stef, has partnered up with me selling things in a shop downtown called Le Marche. My blankets and frames are already in the shop, and Stef has some projects in the works, including some gorgeous designer pillows. Plus, next month I will have an ad in a FREE Kids Directory that can be found in businesses all over Bakersfield. Hopefully I can start selling soon!

Joshua has been quite busy crawling all around. As an anniversary present to Daddy & Mommy, he began crawling (June 1st). He's getting quite good at it. His first birthday is very quickly approaching, which honestly leaves me teary-eyed...and not out of joy. We enjoy each and every day with our little blessing, but it is just very difficult for me to let go of the fact that time passes quickly and we never regain what has passed...and grown. Life goes so very quickly, and it is such a tremendous gift from God.

We've had a very busy month! Two weekends ago my "baby" sister graduated from college! I can't believe she beat me, and she will officially be a nurse very shortly. Lst Friday Joshua met his Great Grandma Bev (my mom's mom). He was a very good boy, impressed her very much. Saturday we attended a wedding in San Clemente; the ceremony was right on the beach and we even saw a couple of dolphins swim by. Joshua was so good and barely made some raspberry sounds :). For Father's Day we spent the day in Huntington/Long Beach with my dad. Brunch at Ruby's on the pier, "playing" on the playground on the beach, watching everyone race superkarts, playing with Hudson, and dinner at On the was quite a busy day for our baby. This coming weekend includes a trip to San Diego and....Disneyland! I'll try to post some photos by the end of next week. :)

Thursday, May 31, 2007

It's actually an update....FINALLY!

Well, I guess I don't have to tell you [AGAIN] that I really am not good at blogging. I have good intentions, I'd like to post often to share little tidbits of our lives, especially to show you how Joshua is growing. It's just so hard to find the time!

Well, 10 months have now flown by since Joshua was born. What a JOY...and a handful :)...he is! He's still such a good baby, but a lot more vocal than a lot of people anticipated (I think he gets the latter from his mommy). He's still on the small size, weighing in at 16 lb. 8 oz. at his 8-month appointment, but very healthy. Clapping, shaking his head no (in fun!), and waving have all been added to his list of accomplishments in the past month or so. Oh, and he finally has his first tooth! Even bigger than that, at 9 months Joshua finally graduated from roller to army crawler! Eventually we may get to crawling, but he loves to pull himself up onto things and he is so cute walking around the room (while holding onto fingers, of course!). His vocab includes dadada(still his fave), mamama, bababa,nenene, and gigigi. He can be quite the noisy chatterbox, or quite serene, just depending on his mood! Other babies are (of course) quite interesting to him, too, though cats and dogs definitely take the cake!

As always, we've been quite busy around here. Matt just finished up his first semester taking fire classes. He had a lot on his plate and was in Bakersfield two nights a week, but it's over...for now. He'll be taking on at least one class over the summer and hopes to have them all done by the end of the year. He's looking to get some experience now as either a reserve firefighter or possibly working as an EMT (he takes the national registry test in a week or so, so please pray!). The schoolyear at the junior high is also nearly over and the plan so far is for Matt to work summer school.

I thought that my busy-ness would subside a bit when my semester ended a couple of weeks ago, but I was wrong. I chose to not take a summer class but to attend a Bible study instead. It's been difficult to be involved when Westbrook Chapel is 40 minutes away, so this will be a great way to get to know other women at the church. More importantly, I'm really looking forward to this study on prayer!

As if having an active and fairly demanding baby boy and joining a Bible study weren't enough, my busy-ness is almost busier because I'm starting my very own BUSINESS! That's right, I've really gone crazy this time. For awhile I've been trying to think of a way I could possibly bring in a little income while caring for Joshua at home. Several ideas came and went, but I finally got excited when I made a couple of baby blankets for my preggo friends from high school, Emily (Rosander) Sardo and Shannon () Ross. I've been sewing for several years and have made quilts, simple blankets, and (LOTS of) burpcloths. I became inspired at the outcome of these two little blankies and thought, why not? Melissa (my sis) came across a website called Etsy; you should definitely check this place out. It's filled with "shops" of people from all over selling their handmade arts and crafts. There are some very beautiful items from some extremely talented people. I set up my shop (with incredible graphic designs by my incredible bro-in-law, Daniel) and opened for business last week. No sales yet, but there's been a lot of traffic to my shop. Please check it out and spread the word if you like it, at least about, if nothing else!

Again, I promise to TRY to write more often, especially so you don't have to read a novel every time you check us out. I hope you enjoy the pictures of Joshua. The one at the top was taken a few days ago at my mom's, when Joshua swam in the pool for the first time. He LOVES his baths, so kicking and splashing in a GIGANTIC bath where Daddy, Grandma, and Mommy also fit was a blast. You should have seen him giggle watching Daddy jump in! The photo below was taken a month ago, but you can see him standing at the coffee table. I hope you are doing wonderfully- God bless!!!

Thursday, March 29, 2007

No Photo, Oh Well

I've realized I tend to not post because I want to add a photo of Joshua each time (he changes so quickly), but this isn't always feasible when I need to alter it in'm just going to write to you now without one.

That said, Joshua is 8 months! In the past month he has been doing so many new things. I think we've gotten to the stage where there's something new almost every day. He is a major mimicker now. Let's see, a couple of weeks ago he started rocking back and forth. He'll copy us if we start rocking back and forth, and tonight he was rocking with the music from his new Leap Frog music center. Whether that was a coincidence or not I have yet to find out. And Joshua does the cutest thing with Matt. For awhile he'll make this noise that's like a growl, just without the vocals (if that makes sense)...kind of a gurgling in his throat, but like a growl. Anyway, Matt started doing this with his "claws" in the air while calling Joshua a grizzly bear and the two of them will just go back and forth growling at each other. Joshua gets the biggest grin on his face! He has also resumed opening and closing his mouth (the first time he did this was while watching Daddy eat a sandwich). He didn't do it for a couple of weeks, but now he'll do it across the room at me- so cute! One more thing, this week I noticed him moving his tongue forward in his mouth, sometimes accidentally making a slight clicking noise. So, I will click and he'll mimick. He's so smart! Okay, he's doing what every baby does, but I'm allowed to be enamored with my son, lol!

Also, our baby is mobile, but not on all fours yet. Joshua rolls everywhere, including smack into the entertainment center or couch or whatever is in his way, though he sometimes doesn't quite get he should roll the other way so he ends up smacking his head over and over. He also has started to roll onto the brick in the entry and the kitchen, which says "OUCH!" to me, but he doesn't seem phased. Today Joshua rolled to get something I had and once he was on his belly I moved the item further to his side to see if he'd move for it. He did!, and almost turned 45 degrees, so this is the closest to scooting thus far. Matt is very eager for Joshua to crawl. I'm not in as big of a hurry, but I have been wondering if he'll be interested soon. So, we'll see how quickly this will progress.

Okay, I need to sign off. Joshua and I have a day in Bakersfield ahead of us, and I'm going to attempt to do a bit of homework before bed to make up for tomorrow. Joshua will be taking his 8 month pics at Picture People (I'll see if I can load a link for everyone to see them). A slight pat on my back, I set a goal to finally finish the quilt I began while I was pregnant so we could have it in the pictures. It was almost done before Joshua was born, but I just haven't had the time. Very sad, two-thirds of a year later and it's finally complete. What a wonderful feeling, though (even if it was a super easy quilt and I'm just lame for taking so long)!

I'll add a new pic soon. This weekend Melissa, Joshua, and I are going to the baby shower of my friend Emily (Rosander) Sardo from high school- fellow jr. miss'r and graduate. My dad is meeting us for lunch, so we get to see Hudson, yea! We'll definitely get some cute shots of the two boys together ;). Love you!

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Exciting news!

For those of you who don't know, I'm an avid scrapbooker (that is, when I have time). My fave scrap store in Bakersfield announced a contest beginning in February with gift certificates to the store as awards for 1st ($50), 2nd ($35), and 3rd ($20) place. Melissa (my sis) and I decided to give it a shot because from experiene we know that there usually aren't too many people who enter, which would give us a good shot at a fun shopping spree. The challenge was to scrap a purse photo album. We finally worked on ours a few days before they were due, and let me tell you I lost a lot of sleep because you can't scrap during the day taking care of a baby and doing homework! When we turned them in we got pretty excited because there were a total of 9 entries and we deemed ours in the top 4 (not cocky, maybe a little biased and confident, :D). All of the purses were left out in the store for two weeks to be voted on by customers. Well, yesterday I got a call and was told that I won 2nd place! And when I asked who won 1st I found out it was none other than Melissa! Yipee!!!! I was so proud to tell the gal that she was my sister! So, while we really didn't have much competition, which means we most definitely would not have done so well in a magazine or even online contest, we're still pretty stoked! And, we have some cash to spend at our favorite store (oh yeah, Melissa's almost more hooked than I am now, going to the store for crops on a weekly basis with her nursing friends- not fair!). We think we'll spend it at the end of next month when we go for National Scrapbooking Day (okay, okay, I don't call your hobby lame, jk)! Below are some pics and here is the link to the store where we're announced!

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

I'm so bad at this!

Wow, finding the time to post on this is a little harder than I thought. I hope you forgive me for taking so long to write, but I definitely think I'll be posting more often from here on. For starters, there's a photo I don't have today that I want to make sure I get by the weekend. Besides, Joshua is growing so fast and he'll be hitting some major milestones in the coming months.

He's 7 1/2 months and in the past few weeks he has been trying out some new skills. He now uses his thumb and index finger to pinch and pick up things; not mastered, of course, but he's doing so well! He's expanded his vocals to include the phonetics of "d"- dih, duh, da, day, dee- he loves repeating these sounds and trying out various combinations. This is definitely his favorite now, because even though he started out with "m" sounds, including ma & mama (obviously without knowing the meaning, same with da), he hasn't used it in weeks and won't repeat when we try to get him started. Joshua has also been practicing his raspberries. He tried them out about 2 months ago, but only for a couple of days. In the past week he has been blowing raspberries like crazy, with plenty of drool in the mix. It's fun to join in or even start them and watch him mimic.

There's a fun new toy that Joshua has discovered this month- the balloon. He loves to hit them (with help of course) back and forth, grab hold and bang them everywhere (even on his head, he doesn't mind at all), attempt to suck on them, and today he giggled so hard when Daddy rubbed his hands on one causing it to make sounds. When Joshua first started laughing, the giggles were few and far between. Now, his laughter brightens up our home several times a day- it's one of the most wonderful sounds I've ever heard.

Speaking of Joshua's laughter, you have got to check out this video I placed on YouTube. Joshua was taking a nap on Matt and started giggling. He did it for several minutes and then Matt figured out he could get Joshua going just by laughing. I just caught the tail end of it all. Disclaimer: I don't have any video-editing software, so it isn't cut and the sound isn't right, but it's cute anyway!

Hope you're having a great week and I'll post again soon!

Wednesday, February 7, 2007


Welcome to my (our) new blog! My friend Theresa suggested this might be easier to keep everyone updated with Joshua (oh, and I guess Matt & I as well, lol), so I'm giving it a shot.

Joshua is 6 months old- already half a year! His personality keeps blossoming and he seems to be a more animated version of what he's already been. He is quite the talker. He loves to squeal and gurgle whenever he feels like it. He went in the church nursery for the first time this Sunday and when I picked him up the gal commented on how much he'd been talking! He can roll over both ways now, though when he rolls onto his tummy he seems to forget that he can roll to his back again. Joshua also started sitting up a couple of weeks ago and is stronger every day. He can sit and play for such a long time and seems to entertain himself better this way because he isn't constantly watching Mommy. He leans forward to grab his toys and just gets smarter by the day! No teeth yet, but he is eating lots of baby food- he is such a good eater.

Things are busier than ever in our house this year. In addition to the normal workload and picking up our niece and nephew from school each afternoon, Matt and I have both returned to school. Well, I should say that I've returned after my "maternity leave" that began last June. I'm starting out with just one class this semester, and I'm still working toward my BS in Biblical Studies with Moody Bible Institute online (only 9 classes left!). Matt has actually gone back to school. He graduated with his AS in Admin. of Justice in '03 and is now taking a very different route. He needs to complete only 7 classes to get an associate's in Fire Technology, and he is quite the bigshot by taking on 3 of those classes this semester. Two of these are online fire classes and the third is an EMT course which he drives to Bakersfield for two nights a week, (about 6 to 8 or 9 p.m.). Matt is still working at the junior high as truant officer, but as this is not a career and still has not shifted to full-time hours, he's felt for a while that something else is necessary. So, it looks like my hubby is going to be a fireman! And he is already doing so well getting into shape by running every day. We never expected the Lord to lead us in this direction, but He laid it on Matt's heart and has opened the door, so here goes!Thanks for looking! I'll post as often as I can and will be sure to include new pictures of Joshua! God bless!